Special to USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica magazine, Houston
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has extended his condolences to the people of Arochukwu Kingdom in Abia State and the entire Aro communities on the death of the Eze Aro of Arochukwu, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, CFR. He was 89 years old, and served as the Eze Aro since 1995. He described the Eze Aro as a nationalist, statesman, selfless first class traditional ruler “whose valued contributions in upholding the Arochukwu culture, Igbo tradition and values as an important part of our nation-building cannot be easily quantified.”
Buhari noted that Nigeria has lost an elder statesman, an academic and renowned nationalist, who led the Aros in Nigeria and around the world with great vision for the past 25 years. The late Eze Aro also was pioneer head of the Department of Laboratory Technology at the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital, Enugu,
The President added that he, on behalf of the Federal Government and Nigerians conveys, sympathy to Aros at home and in the diaspora, and to the government and people of Abia State. He prayed that the soul of Mazi Okoro rests in peace and that God will comfort all those that mourn him.
The Eze Aro’s transition ceremonies and rites of passage, involving especially the Aro nation, at home and across the diaspora communities of the ancient kingdom will commence April 2 and conclude on April 5, 2021. The chairman of the Aro National Rites of Passage Committee is the distinguished Professor of history, Okoro Ijoma. He has expressed appreciation to everyone “for their immense cooperation and contributions” towards the success of the rites of passage. By Chido Nwangwu